lebrain

#753: Ladano II

A sequel to #396:  Ladano

GETTING MORE TALE #753: Ladano II

The Ladano clan is very proud of Dr. Kathryn, PhD.  She has the musical gift:  she can write it, play it and understand its structure down to the very skeleton.  That’s why she’s the doctor of music and not me.  I don’t have those gifts.  I can appreciate music, but I’ll never really be able to play it (or Grok it) on the level she can.  Not even close!

I’ve accepted this.  I continue to write about music, using the limited vocabulary I have, and although I wish I could dig deeper into the nuances, I do the best I can.  When Dr. Kathryn tries to explain music theory to me, my eyes glaze and the words sail over my uncomprehending head.  I wish I could get her to write something for me, but a doctor of music maintains quite a busy schedule!  (Much of it is Game of Thrones nights.)

My dad played saxophone his younger days.  Whatever the genes are for musical talent, they skipped by me completely.  My sister got them all in spades.  People expect me to be able to play.  I get that question all the time.  Twice in the last couple weeks, people asked me what I played, and were shocked when I said “nothing”.   It must be unusual in music when one sibling excels (how many doctors of music do you personally know?) and one gets zilch.

I imagine my dad sitting in his bedroom playing that saxophone, in grade five or six.  He would be practising something, probably by John Philip Sousa.  He never could have imagined, living in that house at 18 Division Street in Guelph, that he’d have a kid who is a doctor of music one day.  His father didn’t play music.  His mother liked musical movies but that was about it.  He didn’t come from a musical family at all.  Where did all that talent come from?  My mom has some music on her side, but that’s for another story.

18 Division Street looks completely different today; I couldn’t point it out if you asked me to.  But I remember it, and that’s where our love of music probably originated.  My dad and his saxophone.

A least I can imagine what it was like.  When Grampa Ladano died in the early 80s, my dad found an old 8mm film.  It took a couple years to convert it to VHS.  What he discovered was a video of my Grampa, Grandmother, and himself as a child, at the old house on Division Street back in 1946.  Full colour, too, which was very expensive in the 40s and for several decades more after.  That should indicate just how special this roll of film is.  My grandmother, who I never met (she died when my dad was a little boy) was known for her beautiful flower gardens.  The Horticultural Society decided to come over and film them, and the family together.  My dad is the young child dancing around!  He wasn’t supposed to, but he was trying to get on camera, and they didn’t have a way of editing things out!  He was sent to go and play elsewhere!  My grandfather is the shirtless man.  Just like the old days when shirtless men would hang around the neighbourhood talking and socializing!  The other man is the mayor of Guelph.

I’ve digitized that old tape and now I can watch it whenever I want to.

This video, folks, is the beginning of the Ladano story in many ways.  My dad and his saxophone were really the start of it.  The people in this video are responsible for the site you are reading today!

 

Advertisements

#749: Do You Wanna Get Rocked? (Def Leppard Box Set Volume Two announcement)

GETTING MORE TALE #749: Do You Wanna Get Rocked?
Def Leppard Box Set Volume Two announcement

In October of 2017 I was contacted by a gentleman who is involved with box set releases.  A long time reader, he said!  Flattery will get you everywhere with me.  He was working on an interesting box set project, and he asked for a favour.

Normally I say “no” to any request to share music from my personal collection.  This, however, was different.  For historical interest, he asked me if he could have the 11 official live songs that Def Leppard released in 2000 and 2001.  These were offered for free from the official Def Leppard website at that time.  Rare stuff like “Demolition Man” and “Paper Sun”.   They disappeared online shortly after.  None of these versions have been released anywhere else…until now.

Coming June 21 2019 is the Def Leppard box set called Volume Two.  Included in the set are seven of these tracks, from my own personal collection!  The band themselves didn’t have them anymore, but fortunately I did.  They selected the ones they wanted on the upcoming box set.

I’m told I’ll be thanked in the credits.  This is an absolute thrill for me — the biggest release I’ve ever been thanked in.  (See Brent Doerner for the other “thank you”.)

Since then I’ve chatted on and off with the gentleman about all sorts of upcoming releases, and wishful thinking.  I’m pleased to report that there are some people out there involved with these box sets who still have the passion for the music.  He too has the fire!  For that reason I had to send him the songs.  Now almost two years later they’ll be released officially again, this time permanently.  I’m proud to be a part of that.  Like he said, it’s historical.  Hystoria!

The songs of mine that are included are:

  • “Bringing On the Heartbreak”, “Switch 625” & “Miss You In a Heartbeat” from Montreal
  • “Demolition Man” from Denver
  • “When Love & Hate Collide”, “Paper Sun” and “Goodbye” from Tokyo

 

See below for the full track list from this incredible box set.  Pre-order yours today.

CD ONE – ADRENALIZE

Let’s Get Rocked
Heaven Is
Make Love Like A Man
Tonight
White Lightning
Stand Up (Kick Love into Motion)
Personal Property
Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad?
I Wanna Touch U
Tear It Down

CD TWO – RETRO ACTIVE

Desert Song
Fractured Love
Action
Two Steps Behind (Acoustic Version)
She’s Too Tough
Miss You in A Heartbeat
Only After Dark
Ride into The Sun
From the Inside
Ring of Fire
I Wanna Be Your Hero
Miss You in A Heartbeat (Electric Version)
Two Steps Behind (Electric Version)

CD THREE – SLANG

Truth?
Turn to Dust
Slang
All I Want Is Everything
Work It Out
Breathe A Sigh
Deliver Me
Gift of Flesh
Blood Runs Cold
Where Does Love Go When It Dies
Pearl of Euphoria

CD FOUR – EUPHORIA

Demolition Man
Promises
Back in Your Face
Goodbye
All Night
Paper Sun
It’s Only Love
21st Century Sha La La La Girl
To Be Alive
Disintegrate
Guilty
Day After Day
Kings of Oblivion

CD FIVE – RARITIES VOL 2

Tonight (Demo Version 2)
When Love and Hate Collide (Original Demo)
From the Inside – B-Side
Two Steps Behind (Acoustic) – B-Side
She’s Too Tough (Joe’s Demo) – B-Side
Miss You in A Heartbeat (Phil’s Demo) -B-Side
Tonight (Acoustic – Sun Studios Version) – B-Side
S.M.C. – B-Side
Hysteria (In the Club in Your Face – Bonn)
Photograph (In the Club in Your Face – Bonn)
Pour Some Sugar on Me (In the Club in Your Face – Bonn)
Let’s Get Rocked (In the Club in Your Face – Bonn)

CD SIX – RARITIES VOL 3

Armageddon It (Live in Singapore)
Two Steps Behind (Live in Singapore)
From the Inside (Live in Singapore)
Animal (Live in Singapore)
When Love and Hate Collide (Live in Singapore)
Pour Some Sugar on Me (Live in Singapore)
When Love and Hate Collide – B-Side
Can’t Keep Away from The Flame – B-Side
Truth – Original Version
Move with Me Slowly – B-Side
Work It Out (Original Demo Version) – B-Side

CD SEVEN – RARITIES VOL 4

Bringin’ On the Heartbreak (Live in Montreal)
Switch 625 (Live in Montreal)
Miss You in A Heartbeat (Live in Montreal)
Work It Out (Live in Montreal)
Deliver Me (Live in Montreal)
When Saturday Comes – B-Side
Jimmy’s Theme – B-Side
Burnout – B-Side
Immortal – B-Side
World Collide – B-Side
I Am Your Child – bonus track
Demolition Man – Denver
When Love and Hate Collide – Tokyo
Paper Sun – Tokyo
Goodbye – Tokyo

 

WTF Search Terms: Another Guest Thussy edition

WTF SEARCH TERMS XLI: Another Guest Thussy edition

Thussy here again, with another instalment of WTF Search Terms. We’ve got a mixed bag of crap people type in and somehow wound up on Lebrain’s blog. So in no particular order, here is my top 10.

1. kiss ladano hotter

I wouldn’t want to kiss Lebrain. He does have a hot sister though.

2. english lebrain sex story

I don’t want to know any of Lebrain’s sex stories.

3. calf suck dick

I’ve bottle fed calves. They bite your fingers hard when you’re feeding them. I would suggest keeping your dick far away from them unless you want a cheap sex change.

4. 60 year olds men

Yes Lebrain looks like a 60 year old man.

5. i would like to hear a song on the cults weapon of choice album

Good for you if you want to read a review on the album you’re in the right place. If you want to hear it go to your local record store and purchase the album. That is the best way to listen to it.

6. snake game for 5.1version

How in the hell does this get them to Lebrain’s blog?

7. turn into pump

See above. On top of that what the hell are you looking for?

8. presinor in paradies song

Webster’s dictionary is available on the app store, download it… use it… love it… spell better.

9. /de/video/182513/three-teen-striptease-on-webcam

I’m guessing PornHub has many videos of this nature.

10. bruce dickinson screaming into pillow

I don’t have him screaming into a pillow but I do have his top 10 screams so here it is.

 

Thanks Thussy for another great list!

#607: Every Picture Tells a Story

GETTING MORE TALE #607: Every Picture Tells a Story

 

If you’re like me, you probably look at childhood photos and are immediately flooded with a million memories. Music, pictures and memories…they all go together don’t they? One triggers another and all three merge together in your grey matter. With that in mind, put on something nostalgic and join me with some short stories about some old pictures. If you can’t think of something to listen to, here’s Bryan Adams doing “Summer of ’69”!


I can tell by my hair that this picture is winter of 1989-1990. On the far left, you’ll notice my Darth Vader lamp, hand made by my mom a long time ago (though not very far away). Darth is priceless to me, and I still have him on that very same dresser today. Next to Darth, I notice that I didn’t think to remove the Speed Stick before taking a photo.

That was my first guitar. I just had to have a whammy bar. That thing would simply not stay in tune. In the 80s, you had to have a whammy bar, although Slash was slowly causing them to go out of fashion. My mom found a guitar teacher, a really nice guy named Gary Mertz. He was teaching my sister, myself and my best friend Bob all in one shot. He came to the house, and did 30 minute lesson with my sister on keyboards first. Then 30 minutes with me and 30 with Bob on guitar. I just wasn’t any good at it. I just don’t have the coordination. How my sister got to be such a great musician, I really couldn’t tell you. I got the shitty genes.

A year and a half later, and look at that hair. Sleek?

Second guitar. A flying V I bought off a guy from work.  He was a huge Eddie Van Halen fan, and he customised the V with different pickups to try to emulate Eddie’s brown sound.  I still had to have a whammy bar.  Constantly diving for it made it sound like I was playing something other than random notes.  I was pretty useless on guitar.

A little older now, this is about 1993 and that’s my first beard! Zeppelin and the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701 D) on the same walls as before.  The Enterprise and the Kiss sketch I’m holding were both birthday gifts from my buddy Peter. I still have that Kiss sketch on my wall right behind where I work at LeBrain HQ.

Check out this model kit I build. That’s a Klingon Bird of Prey, a Romulan Warbird and a Ferengi ship. I bought it for the Warbird, truly a beautiful ship design. If you look close enough, you can see where I painted in little yellow windows on the forward section, just like the show. I did the same on the Ferengi craft, which actually turned out the best of the three.

And finally, I don’t know what compelled me to take pictures of all my stuff. Here it is, and all laid out specifically just so. Why? Couldn’t tell you. But there’s some cool stuff there!

With the exception of the cassette tapes, I still own most of this stuff.  Some CDs have been replaced by expanded editions.  The vinyl didn’t go anywhere though, and I definitely hung on to those Star Trek figures.

My collections for each of these bands has expanded so much that I couldn’t fit them all into a single photo anymore.  It’s funny to look back and think, “Wow, that’s all I had!?”

Sunday Chuckle: Mystery Texts

Ever get text messages from numbers you can’t identify, but you know you know?  Me too!  Just a couple weeks ago I got “mystery texts” from someone bitching about country radio stations.  It was easy to sort out that it came from Tyler, of Tyler and LeBrain fame.  Bitching about country music is kind of his thing.  But the text message below, I have no idea at all…

Sunday Chuckle: Too Many Mikes

Hi!  I’m Mike!

Some people call me LeBrain.  Some of my friends in the radio community call me LaLoofah.  It doesn’t matter, I’ll answer to those, but I’m a Mike.  Always have been, since I was born actually.

As readers generally know by now, my radio friend Craig over at 107.5 DaveRocks has nicknames for most of his listeners.  He also likes to claim that he has “only 3.5 regular listeners” according to the last surveys.  I’m one, and there’s another one named “Ass Kisser Mike”.  Sometimes people mix the two of us up.  I’ve met Ass Kisser Mike.  He’s a really nice guy.  We actually met recently at a protest.  (You can read all about that here.)  At the time, I jokingly said that we should take a picture together to prove we’re not the same person.  However there was a lot going on and we never took the picture.

Fast forward to the April 12 2017 instalment of the Craig Fee Show.  Another Mike called in, a new Mike.  Craig feigned disbelief, he couldn’t have three callers named Mike out of 3.5 listeners, could he?  This led Craig to start the rumour that I and Ass Kisser Mike are the same person.  Fake news!  He also speculated that Ass Kisser Mike’s righteous beard may be fake.  And of course, I could not produce a photo of the two of us together.

I assure you, my faithful readers.  LeBrain and Ass Kisser Mike are two different people.  One day I’ll get a photo to prove it!

Not an actual photo of LeBrain and Ass Kisser Mike

 

#446: SLOW DOWN! (An announcement)

IMG_20151020_172405

GETTING MORE TALE #446: SLOW DOWN!

Since March 2012, LeBrain has been bringing you the rock on a daily basis.

I’ve been writing about music for a long time.  Over the years, I accumulated an immense catalogue of music reviews.  I saved them up, and gradually expanded and polished them up for publishing here at mikeladano.com.  On top of that, I also had an incredible stock of Record Store Tales to post.  Some of these had been gathering dust for well over a decade.  Including new content I’ve stirred into the mix, it took over three years to burn through all the old reviews and stories.  I am now dry.  I had a few movie reviews left in the hopper, but these are abandoned now, because this is (mostly) about the rock.

It’s much easier for me to revise and expand an old review, than it is to write a new one.  It’s actually an enjoyable process for me to revisit and fix up an old writing.  You’d be hard-pressed to tell an old polished up review from a brand-new one unless I pointed it out.  The huge amount of stuff that I had built up to publish enabled me to post content every day.  In fact, in my old “theme song” video I boasted that mikeladano.com was “updated daily!”

I can no longer keep going at that pace.  It’s just not possible; not if I want to maintain a level of quality.  Listening to music takes time, articulating thoughts into words takes more time, and adding the photos, videos and anecdotes takes even more time.  I love writing about music and sharing my music collection with you.  I can’t deny that this hobby is hard work, albeit a labour of love.

So, without any shame, I am now announcing that the pace of new content here is slowing down.  I don’t plan on using a schedule, but you can count on new reviews and stories here about one every other day.  I hope you continue to read and enjoy.  This will hopefully enable me to spend more time posting and responding to comments.

Music is an important part of my life, and yours too, I’ll wager, or you wouldn’t be reading this.  Coming home from work every day and sitting down to review music because I “have to”, to keep up the pace, isn’t what I wanted to do.  I don’t want to work on reviews because I “have to” maintain an inhuman pace.  You might not have noticed but I feel the more recent reviews I’ve written have been rushed.  I think the quality may have suffered in favour of quantity.

No longer.  You can count on the same brand of music reviews, the same kind of stories, and the odd “WTF” here and there…just not on a daily basis.  I’m taking tomorrow off!

Shit.  I guess this means I need a new theme song video.

See??  The work never ends!

WTF SEARCH TERMS: “Exersises for the Plumber Butt”

R.I.P. George Jones, age 81.

A little while ago, I said that the Klassic Kwotes well had run dry; I was starting a new feature.  This is that feature — let me know if you find it entertaining.

WTF SEARCH TERMS Part I: “Exersises for the Plumber Butt”

Crack = Bad

As a WordPress site, I have access to certain statistics.  I can see how many hits I’m getting per day, for example, and how many are unique visitors.  Some of my visitors are very, very unique.

Some of the more interesting particulars that I’m able to see are search terms.  Search terms that people typed into Google (or Yahoo, or whatever) that led them to me.   Search terms that boggle the mind as to a) what they were looking for, b) how it led them to me, or c) both.  Here’s a selection of some of the most entertaining.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  If feedback is positive I’ll post more in the future.

Keep in mind two things!

1. Each of these are real search terms, typed in by real people on a search engine like Google.

2. Somehow, each of these search terms led them to ME!

Without further delay…enjoy.

exercises for the plumber butt

big breasted lebrains

my lebrian secret

domestic dog shit

doorway piss

shiting discas video

big butts in leather pants

fuck my old boots history

double penetrator

And finally, one guy who used an apt search term to find this site:

Part 94: Staffing

Everybody and their little brother wanted to work in a record store.  Why not? It’s the Dream Job.

For most record stores, I imagine staffing is not an issue.  Anybody who can Google can tell you where to buy “Call Me Maybe”, today.  For us though, we were buying and selling used.  We could buy 200 discs in one average day, and might have to look at 600 just to find 200 good ones to buy, plus all our staff were required to be qualified buyers.  It was what set us apart from other stores – you didn’t have to wait for a specific person to sell your stuff.  It would usually take up to 3 months to get a new inexperienced staff member fully trained on everything, including buying.  Someone with experience in a record store might get there in a month or two.

Everybody was always shocked when they heard that.  3 months?  What the hell did it take 3 months to teach people?  A lot.  A lot of kids were looking for a summer job, but there’d be no point hiring a kid for the summer.  If we didn’t get a year out of an employee, it wasn’t worth the training involved!  That was a disappointment for many many kids who wanted to work with us for the summer.  Some just lied and said they would stick around, but bailed at the end of the summer anyway.

Here’s a brief list of things we had to tackle before we even got into buying:

  • Simple things like, how you approach a customer to see if they want help without being annoying.
  • Getting an idea of our quality standards (the highest in town) and policies.
  • Replacing cases – when and how?  You don’t want to waste fresh cases for no reason, and we replaced hundreds a day.
  • Checking and cleaning the CD before selling it – then double checking again to make sure you put the right disc in the case!
  • Looking stuff up inventory, in multiple ways – artist, soundtrack, etc.  This was challenging to those who could not spell/type.  I remember training one guy who could not type “Polyphonic Spree”.  Nope, he typed everything but.  “Polyphonic Speer” was one memorable variation
  • Looking up stuff online for more information. (We had to use Allmusic but I found Google and Wiki more useful – shame that use of Google was blocked on our system for fear of “mis-use”!)
  • Finding that stuff on the shelves once you know it’s in stock.
  • Filing CD’s away in the correct sections.
  • How to handle overstock.
  • How to do the data entry of entering new titles.
  • How to check other stores in the chain for inventory.
  • How to do cash, credit and debit transactions.
  • How to count change properly (if you wanted to balance at night, you had to teach it)!
  • What to clean, when to clean it.
  • Cashing out – how to do it, and how to balance.

Doing all this stuff took about 3 weeks.  There was a lot to remember without hammering them with buying CDs and all the different pricing schemes involved. When we taught our kids how to price discs and what to offer, we had a pretty good layout, but our pricing lookup in our computer system was limited in its usefulness.  Any time a CD got reissued, it got another listing in our catalogue. Some of these reissues might have been physically identical, so for kids to figure out which discs they were looking at was very tricky.

Our computer system had no pictures and no track lists and only a limited amount of info available.  When you get multiple versions of a disc coming in, it could get confusing.  A listing could look like this (but without the helpful but hilarious cover art):

  • Ladano, Mike – LeBrain’s Greatest Hits (1995 1 CD remaster Capitol Records)
  • Ladano, Mike – LeBrain’s Greatest Hits (remaster reissued)
  • Ladano, Mike – LeBrain’s Greatest Hits (14 tracks)
  • Ladano, Mike – LeBrain’s Greatest Hits (2002 remaster)
  • Ladano, Mike – LeBrain’s Greatest Hits (bonus DVD)
  • Ladano, Mike – LeBrain’s Greatest Hits (original)

So imagine some guy coming in with a box of CDs, and every second or third disc you look up had that kind of info for you to sift through – all different prices too!  And God help you if the CD was not listed in the computer and you had to make a “manual” decision!  And lots (lots!) of great music was not in our computers.

You can’t just teach this stuff – it has to come from experience and seeing the same thing come in over and over again.

And none of that even touches on quality.  When we looked at disc quality, we were probably the most anal store in town.  The stuff other stores would sell as “good condition” wouldn’t even make our shelves.  This was a good thing at the point of sale, but very difficult for staff members to deal with when purchasing discs from customers.  They had to look at:

  • Scratches – very carefully.  Anything visible?  How deep?  Can they be buffed out?
  • Can you feel the scratch with a fingernail?  If so, it cannot be buffed out without taking the chance of destroying the CD.
  • Top scratches – the most deadly of all scratches.  They are on the thin top of the CD and actually cut into the aluminum.  Cannot be fixed, but can be seen shining through bright light.
  • Pinholes – don’t usually effect sound quality unless massive.  Can also be seen shining through with a bright light.
  • Packaging – are all elements present?  Front cover, back cover?  Any water damage or rips?
  • Is anything missing?  For example, was it supposed to be a two CD set, but a disc is missing and case changed?
example of pinholes

example of pinholes

And that doesn’t even factor in such things as, “How many copies do we have?  How many copies do our other stores have?  Do we really need to spend time buffing scratches off a Spin Doctors disc, when another store has 4 copies?  None of this stuff can be taught overnight.

So, when kids used to ask me for a summer job, and I would say no – this is why!  I’m sorry I let you down back then, but there was no way I was training you on all this shit for 3 months for you to only stay 3 months!

Part 74: 2012 Sausagefest Report part one

What happens at Sausagefest stays at Sausagefest.  That’s been the rule since day one, 11 years ago.  Having said that, I can talk about some of my own experiences this year, the best Sausagefest I’ve experienced to date.

For more photos please go to GALLERY: Sausagefest 2012

Sausagefest 2012 has come and gone once again.  This year for me was full of new music, new flavours, and new faces.   There were still four alumni from my record store days.  Older, wiser, maybe a little fatter, definitely a little greyer.  All four of us sported white somewhere on our heads….

Meat and a few others has spent the previous night seeing Tenacious D.  I’m hoping I can get him to do a concert review because that’s a tale in itself.  Suffice to say, I can’t imagine a better preface to Sausagefest than a Tenacious D show.

Meat, myself and a first-timer named Chris made the trek in my vehicle (Dougie Carmore) rocking to the “D” and stopping only for beer and ice.  We arrived at our hallowed, sacred meeting place in record time and began setting up camp.

For me, that was pretty easy since I have chosen to sleep in my car most years.  The new PA system was set up and shortly thereafter, the rock began.

The countdown was different this year:  A top 75 instead of 100, culled from the 31 submitted lists.  In addition, 31 tribute songs, one for each submittee!  A total of 106 songs plus comedy sketches and about 10 “LeBrain” bits about the tunes, trying to do my best Jeff Woods impression.  The countdown took two evenings and I don’t know how many hours….

But it was solidly amazing all the way through.  That first night, we heard my tribute song which was my #1 this year:  “Strutter”.  We also heard plenty of Rush, tool, Sabbath, and everything else too.  And that was just the first night.  Saturday, we’d hear the top half…

The equipment was (mostly) put under a tarp, and we all went to our respective sleeping places.  I say “mostly” because not only did Meat leave all his clothes outside, but he also seemed to have soaked his laptop charger.  I awoke in the middle of a thunderstorm.  I think the storm lasted about three hours.

Then, I discovered that my car stereo was out.  Kaput.  How?  Must have been the storm.  But it wasn’t a fuse.  We went into town for an amazingly greasy good breakfast and hit up a car parts store for fuses.  It wasn’t a fuse.  At presstime it isn’t fixed yet.  So my car stereo is busted, and Meat still doesn’t have a charger for his laptap.  Would we trade the weekend in for anything else?

Of course not!

Check back later for part two.